Kids, London life and the world beyond

Returning to Taos

TweetNobody in my family can agree what age I was, or any of us kids were, when we stopped coming to Taos, New Mexico for the summer. My dad taught graduate art school there, so every summer my parents would load up the station wagon with everything we’d need for 6 weeks. We rented a house from a local woman or stayed in a condo in the ski valley and had the kind of experience people complain kids don’t...

Returning to New York City…as a mother

TweetI spent 10 of my most formative years in New York City — those in my 20s and early 30s, drinking, dining, dating, working and generally becoming what passes for an adult. Then I left for London and a British life with my husband. I love London, but New York is still my spiritual home. That just makes it all the stranger that my kids have never been there. My daughter did make a brief appearance at 4...

The latest great American import: the doggy bag

TweetThe list of things America has given the food world is substantial: Velveeta, the Hard Rock cafe, the list goes on. But now one of our most widespread contributions has finally gained purchase on English soil: the doggy bag. So simple a concept. After your restaurant meal that you’ve paid for, you take home what you haven’t eaten to enjoy later. That might mean having yummy leftovers after a...

Why Americans should love Guy Fawkes night

TweetEverybody needs a holiday during which you can squirm with anticipation until nightfall, burn your fingers on spent sparklers, and singe your hair while lighting firecrackers. I grew up celebrating Fourth of July in Texas, but I quite like Guy Fawkes Night here in the UK. Not only does it get darker earlier (hurrah!) but you have that crisp chill in the air and the bloodthirsty backstory. It’s too bad...

The definitive map of the world according to Americans?

TweetOne of the challenges as an American abroad – both living and travelling – are the preconceptions people have about us. You know – childlike, fat, shorts-wearing jingoists. Anyone who knows me, knows this isn’t universally true of Americans. I, for one, hardly ever wear shorts. I’ll leave it up to you to decide the accuracy of this map, sent to me by Sarah Ebner who writes the...

Playtime is over for New York parents

TweetWhat does any NYC parent worth his or her salt do when they feel their child’s nursery education is not up to snuff? Of course – they sue. The Times wrote yesterday about the lawsuit brought byNicole Imprescia against her daughter’s preschool. You can read that piece on the Times’s site (even if you’re not a subscriber, for £1 you got all of the stories from today’s paper...

Disney Dream cruises: good for family – and adult – fun

Tweet All cruise ships are big but on the new Disney Dream ship (1,250 staterooms, 14 decks) if you want a break from the children as they play on deck 5, you can have a drink in Hong Kong. Or New York or Paris, depending on the day. A panaromic LCD screen at The Skyline bar (deck 4 aft) provides the vista; the knowledgeable young bartender pours the cocktails. Among the other 4 bars and nightclub in “The District”...

Thanksgiving and 7 weird American foods

TweetToday is Thanksgiving and this week I discovered the special “Thanksgiving” tab on Ocado shopping. I’ve never been so horrified in my entire life. I was expecting turkey and fresh green beans and pumpkin puree for pies, and they did have those things. But otherwise this special section doesn’t reflect very well on us Americans. Instead of potatoes, hams and yams, Ocado has Marshmallow...

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